Basketball players bring their skills to football field


Contributed by Lisa Hines

Junior Jamari Jones dodges opposing players as he sprints towards the end zone. According to Jones, the basketball and football coaches have a similar coaching style.

Graham Krewinghaus , Staff Writer

The high school has a notoriously energetic attitude when it comes to sports and, for many, exercise is not only an expectation but an integral part of daily life. But some take it farther than others, excelling in multiple sports every year.

Seniors Mark Barrett and Wesley Delvar and junior Jamari Jones have been playing basketball and football together for the better part of their lives, on recreational, middle school and high school teams. With many years of playing experience under their belts, the trio brings past experiences and friendship to the field in performances filled with teamwork and determination.

Barrett began playing quarterback for the varsity football team following the arrival of the new head coach. The quarterback position, Barrett said, comes with a lot of pressure to do well.

“It’s a lot of responsibility because if you mess up, it reflects on the rest of the team,” Barrett said. “But I like the pressure.”

Barrett says he has responded well to the pressure so far, delivering in some intense, crucial moments where the team was counting on him.

“There was one time, Weymouth, second half,” Barrett said, “We were down, and then we scored pretty early, but we were still down, and I ran one in to give us the lead, and then [Delvar] caught the game-winning pick.”

According to Barrett, the football team also introduced him to a new level of fan energy. In general, people tend to pay attention to what is going on with the football team.

“Teachers always ask me how I played, what I did, which is cool because it feels like they support me and the team,” Barrett said. “ People do support it, very well. The school community is very good to their sports teams.”

The football team has been working as hard as possible to improve their game, and Delvar wishes people got to see that work ethic.

“Every game’s an uphill battle,” Delvar said. “Doesn’t matter if the team is good or not, anything can happen. Personally, yes, I think we can do it. But we have to push harder than the other teams to get there.”

Jones feels that he has built strong bonds with his fellow athletes.

“We all used to play on the same AAU [basketball] team,” said Jones. “Sports, in general, bring people together. It’ll turn some strangers you’d think you never would’ve met into some of your closest friends.”

That sense of brotherhood is a common feeling for the three athletes. Delvar said the team has a family vibe.

“As a team, we’re all like brothers,” Delvar said. “We hang out with each other after practice and games, we crack jokes. It’s a family thing.”

The team has a new head coach this year, a Brookline graduate, Chad Hunte. Barrett said that Hunte’s arrival was his inspiration to join the team in his senior year. Hunte was a mentor for Barrett for a long time before becoming the coach, and he has that sort of chemistry with other players.

According to Delvar, he has known Hunte since his freshman year, and Hunte has pushed him to do his best.

“He always wanted me to strive and to do better. He brings a lot of energy to the program, he knows what the program needs and he wants the kids to succeed in life and do well,” Delvar said.

Hunte keeps the team motivated and on track and works to keep the team growing, learning and getting better. These qualities factored into Barrett’s decision to join the team.

“It’s all serious,” Barrett said. “He has a good relationship both on the field and off the field with everybody, so it’s not just like he’s our coach; he’s also someone we can look up to.”

According to Jones, both the basketball coach and the football coach create a similar environment for the players, by giving them an incentive to work hard all the time.

“I’d say both coaches keep us well-rounded, on our toes, trying to prepare us for the worst in practice, like in-game situations,” Jones said. “Both coaches preach practice-how-you-play mentalities. Both coaches want us to go hard, give it 100 percent every time we play.”

The two sports have plenty of similarities for Barrett, Jones and Delvar, but they are not without their differences. For Delvar, his mentality has shaped the way he plays the sports.

“Just because I like basketball a lot, I think I strive for it a lot harder,” Delvar said. “That being said, in football, the winning is still inside me, I still want to win. I don’t like losing. The quote I go by is ‘day by day for a better day,’ so we really are working hard every day, fixing those little tweaks, trying to make it perfect.”